Iran: Mahsa Amini’s death sparks protests in Canada
Across Canada and around the world, protesters stood together on Saturday to unite for women’s rights and freedoms in Iran, as the country entered a third straight week of protests. caused by the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody. .
From Vancouver to Halifax, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Canada this weekend. In Richmond Hill, Ont., protesters descended on Yonge St., ending with a demonstration outside the library, some holding placards with slogans including “Free Iran”.
In Halifax, hundreds of people marched through the streets, waving flags and signs, calling for justice.
“All they want is humanitarian rights,” Iranian-Canadian Siavesh Farrahi told CTV News Atlantic. “We want women’s rights. So that’s all we want, and we need the support of the Canadian people.”
In addition to the protests here in Canada, people demonstrate in major cities around the world. The prayers can be heard from London to Sydney.
And at each rally, one name was repeated: Mahsa Amini.
Amini was a 22-year-old Kurdish woman of Iranian descent who died last month after being detained by the Islamic Republic’s ethics police.
She was arrested only because her hijab was deemed too loose – a violation of Islam’s strictly enforced dress code.
Amini’s cousin Diako Aili told CNN: “It really breaks my heart to think about the situation, because she’s had her whole life in front of her.
Amini’s death while in police custody sparked a wave of public outcry in Iran, which began at Amini’s funeral and spread across Iran’s 31 provinces, with protesters demanding leadership Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was deposed.
Many of the protesters were women, who often dared to remove their headscarves despite the strict laws in place to arrest Amini. Women are required to cover their hair in public in Iran, and so some protests have seen protesters burn headscarves and publicly cut their hair.
But this defiance prompted a harsh response from Iran’s security forces. Amnesty International says the government crackdown has resulted in the deaths of at least 52 people and the injuries of hundreds more.
Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, called the protests “unacceptably chaotic” that must be quelled.
He also alleges that they are motivated by the self-interest of foreign nations such as the United States.
But those involved in today’s global protests say they stand in solidarity with not only Iranian women, but all those deprived of their human rights.
“As the Iranian regime shut down the Internet in the country and indiscriminately killed protesters, the Iranian people have repeatedly asked the international community to be their voice and strengthen their demands,” said Iranian-Canadian. Justice & Human Rights said in a press release for the Toronto March. “This event is meant to raise their voices.”
Activist Azin Rezaeian said at a rally in Ottawa earlier this week: “It’s not just about the hijab, it’s about the body – they want to control and oppress all women, to control the country. “.
As for today’s global protests, people in more than 150 cities are estimated to have participated – a rally in support of a large number of freedom fighters in Iran.
Featuring files from CNN, CTV News Toronto and CTV News Atlantic.